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July 31, 2014
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If every day is National No Diet Day in your book, you're in luck: The Center for Science in the Public Interest has just released its annual list of "Xtreme Eating awards" for the most calorie-laden chain restaurant meals.

The "winner" of the unhealthiest meal in America is Red Robin, whose "Monster" double burger, combined with a milkshake and bottomless fries, clocks in at a whopping 3,540 calories.

Some of the other meals that made the list include The Cheesecake Factory's "Bruléed French toast" and a seafood plate from Joe's Crab Shack. Horrifyingly, just one slice of The Cheesecake Factory's Reese's peanut butter chocolate cake cheesecake includes 1,500 calories.

Denny Marie Post, Red Robin's chief marketing officer, told USA Today that the 3,540-calorie meal "combines some of our most indulgent items into one meal," and customers have the option of ordering lighter fare, such as broccoli or turkey burgers.

"I don't think people really know just how bad these meals can be in restaurants," Paige Einstein, a registered dietitian at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told USA Today. Meghan DeMaria

4:29 p.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday the White House will show high-ranking lawmakers on intelligence committees information discovered by the National Security Council while investigating President Trump's baseless claims that Trump Tower had been wiretapped by former President Barack Obama, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said he wants to see these materials, the sooner the better.

Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, held a press conference Thursday afternoon where he confirmed he received an invitation to see the documents, but said he had "profound concern" with how the materials were being provided. It's unclear if these materials are the same ones that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, saw last week and told Trump about during a visit to the White House, a move that caused an uproar from Democrats and Republicans alike.

"I'm in the either enviable or unenviable position of not knowing what these materials are," Schiff said. "People need to understand the process of figuring out how these were collected, whether properly collected, whether properly disseminated, properly masked or unmasked. We look at these types of issues all the time. This isn't new for our committee, which is what makes it so unusual, irregular, that it would be presented to us in that way. This is within our ordinary wheelhouse. There is a proper way to put this before the committee that certainly wasn't followed here and the White House ought to explain why it wasn't followed here."

Despite the confusion surrounding the investigation and the fact that there is a "cloud" over the committee's probe into Russia's meddling with the presidential election, Schiff said the hoopla surrounding Nunes and his secretive trips to the White House will "not distract" them from the inquiry. Catherine Garcia

3:49 p.m. ET
South Korean Presidential Blue House via Getty Images

South Korea's ousted President Park Guen-hye was arrested in Seoul early Friday morning. Park, who was impeached and formally removed from office earlier this month over a corruption scandal, is facing charges "including bribery, extortion, and abuse of power," The New York Times reported. A South Korean court had approved Park's arrest after a hearing called on Thursday, and warned that if she was not quickly taken into custody she may "destroy evidence."

Park's ouster and subsequent arrest stemmed from a bribery scandal with her childhood friend, Choi Soon-sil, to extort millions of dollars in bribes from big businesses, including Samsung.

Park is South Korea's first female president, and The New York Times reported she is also the first former South Korean leader to be jailed since the 1990s, when "two former military dictators were imprisoned on corruption and mutiny charges."

Prosecutors will seek a formal indictment within the next 20 days. Becca Stanek

3:23 p.m. ET
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On Thursday, President Trump broadly threatened to run primary challengers against members of the House Freedom Caucus after the ultra-conservative faction put the breaks on the GOP health-care bill last week, claiming it was too similar to ObamaCare. But Trump has apparently threatened specific individuals too, according to Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).

Sanford told The Post and Courier that Trump sent Sanford's friend, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, to deliver the message: "The president asked me to look you square in the eyes and to say that he hoped that you voted 'no' on this bill so he could run [a primary challenger] against you in 2018," Sanford claimed Mulvaney told him. Mulvaney had allegedly not wanted to deliver the message but Trump insisted.

"I mentioned this to a couple of colleagues and they said it sounds very Godfather-ish," Sanford noted. "Their point was that this approach might work in New Jersey, but it probably doesn't work so well in South Carolina." Sanford quoted the South Carolina Republican Creed in response to Trump's threat: "I will never cower before any master, save by God."

Sanford has long been a vocal critic of Trump, slamming him on everything from his refusal to release his tax returns to his baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud. But while Sanford claims he has "nothing" against the president, he added: "I've never had anyone, over my time in politics, put [the threat of a primary challenge] to me as directly as that."

The Post and Courier suggested Sanford might "perhaps [be] understating just how monumental it is for a sitting president to openly go after members of his own party." Jeva Lange

3:22 p.m. ET
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One of the highest women in the White House, deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, is leaving her post in order to boost a floundering pro-President Trump political group.

Walsh is headed to America First Policies, which is already staffed with several people who worked on the Trump campaign and has been having a hard time doing what it's supposed to do — supporting Trump's agenda (one official told Politico the group "has turned into an embarrassment"). After the health-care vote was scrapped last Friday, Walsh went to Jared Kushner, Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, and Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, to discuss moving from the White House to work on outside efforts for Trump. Kushner, Priebus, and chief strategist Steve Bannon all thought this made sense and gave their approval, officials told Politico.

White House officials say this isn't part of a shake-up in the West Wing, but rather a reboot. Walsh served as chief of staff at the Republican National Committee while Priebus was chairman, and she was one of many RNC staffers he brought to the White House with him. She has been described by a Trump associate as being "Reince's political secret service" and his "eyes and ears" inside the White House, and an official told Politico not to take her departure as a sign that Priebus will be next. Catherine Garcia

3:06 p.m. ET

Crayola's new 24-pack won't include the color Dandelion, the crayon-making company announced Thursday. The golden-yellow crayon, an iconic color in Crayola's classic pack, was introduced to the box in 1990.

Crayola is giving it a day before it announces which crayon color will step up as Dandelion's replacement. The big reveal will happen on Friday — which happens to be National Crayon Day — at an event in New York City's Time Square that will be livestreamed on Facebook.

Devastating as Dandelion's departure may be, CNBC reported this isn't the first time a crayon has left the box. Crayola replaced eight colors in 1990, and swapped out four more colors in 2003.

Catch Dandelion's farewell announcement below. Becca Stanek

2:26 p.m. ET
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If you like your beef fresh and weighing four ounces, McDonald's will soon be offering what it hopes will be your dream burger.

On Thursday, the company said that starting next year, after using frozen meat for decades, most of its locations in the United States will grill up fresh beef for its Quarter Pounder burgers. McDonald's is trying to shake things up in order to appeal to customers who want their food less processed, and to bring some former fans back into the fold — McDonald's shared earlier this month that in the United States from 2012 to now, the company has lost 500 million customer transactions, The Associated Press reports.

McDonald's USA President Chris Kempczinski said this new version of the burger was tested for around a year in the Dallas and Tulsa areas, and the fast food giant found that customers ordered more of them and made more return visits. It's not known yet if the price will go up, and while the Quarter Pounder is getting the fresh treatment, other Mickey D staples, like Big Macs, will still be made with frozen beef. Catherine Garcia

2:04 p.m. ET
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Two White House officials assisted in getting intelligence reports to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) last week that showed members of President Trump's team were incidentally caught up in foreign surveillance, The New York Times reports.

Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, discussed the reports with Trump before consulting with his fellow members of the committee. Later, Nunes said the night before he spoke with Trump, he received a phone call from a whistle-blower who met him on the White House grounds. U.S. officials have said the reports mostly were just about ambassadors and other foreign officials discussing their attempts to develop contacts in the Trump family and with his friends before the inauguration. Nunes has repeatedly said he will not reveal who gave him the information, and the Times is reporting it came from Ezra Cohen-Watnick, senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer working on national security issues at the White House Counsel's Office.

The House Intelligence Committee is conducting what is supposed to be an independent investigation into meddling by Russia into the 2016 presidential election. Catherine Garcia

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